Irreplaceable, departing faculty and staff reminisced by students

Published by Rachel Arceo on

The Mainstream

Much of UCC’s staff has spent years, if not decades, working directly with students, often more for the desire to help than the paycheck. Since many students rely on staff and faculty’s help and care, retirements and job changes make strong impressions when the inevitable times of change come.

Some UCC staff who are leaving or changing jobs are Marjan Coester, Hanna Culbertson, Destiny Hunt, Mike Matteo and Charles Young. Students were asked to share the impact some of these individuals have had.

“I am sad, but happy for them as well. Charles Young, Hanna and Marjan are all wonderful people, educators, communicators, listeners and leaders,” said ASUCC student government business manager and soon-to-be graduating student Nakaela Hunt in an email. “I’m sure many people who have had them throughout their college experience will miss them. The knowledge and experience they have go deeper than words.”

Destiny Hunt, former director of Trio Student Support Services; New director of teaching and learning

Destiny Hunt, former director of student support services, will now be helping students with the new role as the director of teaching and learning.
Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

As the director of Trio, Hunt oversaw the federally funded Trio grant program that helps first-generation, low-income college students or students with Accessibility Services accommodations get access to all the resources they need to transfer to the university of their choice. These services can include specialized advising, tutoring, scholarship assistance and even grant aid.

Hunt has worked with UCC for the past seven years, moving to her role as the Director of Trio three years ago. Hunt was recently promoted to direct the new Teaching and Learning Center.

“I learned so much with Trio, and I love, love helping students,” says Hunt. “I really love Trio; I was a Trio student myself and my goal for a long time was to be a Trio director, and I did, but I am still at the beginning of my career.”

“If my whole job is helping others grow, I have to question what I am doing to reach my next steps, too? In this new role, I may not be directly working with students as much, but hopefully, I get to be an amplifier. Hopefully, instead of helping my caseload of students, I can be a part of a bigger system and help make sure a lot of students get a great experience at UCC.”

Multiple students and staff agree that her leadership of the Trio program made a significant impact on their college success.

First-year human services student Layken Woodard credits Hunt with her present direction in school.

“Destiny has had a huge impact on me. She was a huge help to me getting into Trio (Student Support Services),” Woodard says. “She helped edit my scholarship applications; she is super supportive and very involved with the students in the Trio program.”

“She has a really positive impact in general. She was really helpful when I first signed up for college. I don’t think I would be where I am without her. When I first began, I had my own idea of what college would be for me, and Destiny says, ‘just be open to the possibilities.’ I really thought about what she said about that. Now I plan on going beyond my certificate and transferring when I leave UCC.”

Graduating, second-year Trio student Alicia Merker has benefited from Hunt’s direction of Trio but is pleased with her role change.

“It’s great that Destiny is moving to a different position,” Merker says. “I actually gave her some advice on how the library can be improved for students with accessibilities, and Destiny was really excited to get the perspective from a student with accessibility issues and learn how they can make the rooms better.”

To read more about the other leaving staff, click here.

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